How Often Will I Need to Change My Breast Implants…and WHY?
One of the first questions my patients ask when considering a breast augmentation in St. Louis is how long will my breast implants last? When I tell them the breast enhancement using breast implants, whether saline or silicone implants will NOT be a ONE and DONE surgery, they are disappointed and worried about future costs.
Let’s go over why your breast implants will need to be replaced.
First, your breasts will continue to change with age, especially if you gain, lose weight, or become pregnant. Even if you don’t breast feed, your breasts will change with pregnancy! Your breast may become saggy and you may lose more breast volume. When this happens your skin will “slide off” the breast implants and your breasts will appear to have fullness on top with the rest of the breast and nipple at a lower position.
If this happens, you can change the size of the implant to create the size of breast you desire and remove any excess skin to reposition the nipple into a “perky” position.
Second, the breast implant has a lifespan of 10-20 years. Saline implants may begin to lose volume at 10-15 years or may appear to “ripple” if you have very little breast tissue of your own overlying the saline breast implant. After 10 years, your breasts may also become more firm and eventually actually feel hard and become misshapen. This is also an indication you will need an implant replacement. Some patients keep the same silicone implants for more than 20-25 years without a problem.
Typically, the breasts will become firm and change shape after 10-20 years. When this happens you will need to remove the implants, the existing scar capsule, and any excess skin. You may or may not wish to have the implants replaced. Most of my patients do want to retain full breasts and opt to have new implants.
The initial surgery as well as the subsequent replacement surgeries are very safe and are performed as an outpatient with a minor recovery.